First of all, I think a recognition is due to our right-wing friends that indeed she is a considerable political talent. She delivered her speech with confidence and poise, and stepped into the VP candidate's attack-dog role with zest. It's on, she seemed to say. And the ecstatic GOP response was a combination of ideological kinsmanship and brow-mopping relief.
I think that vetting issues aside (not for long!), one sees what McCain saw in her, and why he thought she'd be a formidable VP candidate. For now, the Eagleton comparisons would seem to be non-operative.
That being said, with her own slashing style, she opens herself up for more scrutiny from the press, and attacks from the other side.
She again flat-out lied about the Bridge to Nowhere. “Thanks but no thanks”? More like “Thanks in advance” when she was running for Gov. in '06. This is in the context of a broader self-created narrative that she's outside and against the political establishment of AK, when in fact, her record on that is spotty indeed. (So how great is Rep. Don Young, Governor?)
Her dismissal of Obama's community organizing experience shows ignorant snobbery. I suppose that helping poor urban people advocate for their own interests has never been high on the GOP list of priorities.
“Obama's task was to help far South Side residents press for improvements ranging from pothole repair to job training. Working out of a two-room office of a Roman Catholic church in the Roseland neighborhood, the neophyte went door-to-door, seeking to make 25 new contacts a week as he heard community concerns.
“Ninety percent of the people in the U.S. would be terrified to walk the streets that Barack Obama walked,” said Greg Galluzzo, whose Gamaliel Foundation served as a Chicago umbrella organization for groups including DCP.”
Including, I suspect, one pitbull-with-lipstick. How is this reference not the same kind of contemptuous elitism the GOP purports to object to so strenuously — just against urban people of color?
While the speech was good, it still had the feel of a regional newcomer warming up the crowd — or even at times, a student council president's speech. (No, these impressions are not unique to me.) She will still have trouble with the gravitas issue, since she didn't and doesn't display any particular expertise in the pressing issues of the day. When she starts to take questions from the press, we'll see how slick she really is.